Rural Development and Poverty Reduction; Is Agriculture Still the Key?
This paper examines the relationship between rurality and poverty, and the role the agricultural sector can play in rural development, poverty reduction, and overall development. The historical views regarding the role of the primary sector in development are presented, and then using original data, the paper argues that there was an historical misjudgment against the primary sector that served as a foundation for anti-agricultural bias in public policy until the late 80’s. Finally, this paper explains how under certain conditions territorial/regional development strategies may prosper, but in other conditions, particularly in the least-developed countries rural space, agriculture is still necessarily the starting point for rural development.
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